Faces of loan modification: Christine Attalla, Bolingbrook, Ill.


How well is the government's loan modification working? WalletPop's four-part special report continues with profiles of some of those trying to get help. To read the overview, click here.

Christine Attalla is among the lucky. The suburban Chicago homeowner not only got a temporary loan modification, but she's on track to convert it to a long-term adjustment before Christmas.

She even calls herself lucky, although when she does there's a quiver in her voice. That's because in the process, her credit took a beating.

For a solo entrepreneur -- Attalla, 38 and divorced, runs her own public relations company -- poor credit is a serious problem.

It all began last spring, when Attalla realized the economic downturn was making it increasingly difficult for her to manage her $3,000-a-month payment on her Bolingbrook home. And she was pregnant, so she knew she'd have less earning power later in the year.

Attalla heard from a friend about the modification program, applied in April through her lender, CitiMortgage, and waited.

She was approved for a three-month trial reduction -- for June, July and August -- which cut her monthly payments in half. If she kept current, she said, she would qualify for a permanent modification that started with a 2% interest rate and tiered up after a decade. So far, so good.